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"RAE" 2003 Obituary


RAE o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-08-15 published
Professor played a role in defeat of SSAINTURENT government
By M.J. STONE Special to The Globe and Mail Friday, August 15, 2003 - Page R5
Nearly four decades after Louis SSAINTURENT had been Prime Minister of Canada, McGill professor James MALLORY was surprised to discover how influential he had been in the defeat of Mr. SSAINTURENT's Liberals in 1957. The revelation occurred in 1992 when the cabinet papers of the SSAINTURENT government, which had been sealed for 35 years, were made available to the public.
Unknown to Professor MALLORY, a radio interview he gave in the wake of the 1957 election had caught the Prime Minister's ear. The Liberals had been reduced to 105 seats in the House, seven fewer than the Conservatives. But the Grits were still in a position to form a minority government with the aid of the 25 elected members of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, later to become the New Democratic Party.
Mr. SSAINTURENT found himself at a crossroads. While his party was clearly in decline, the Conservatives were on the rise and many questioned whether the Liberals still had a legal mandate to govern. When Mr. SSAINTURENT arrived in cabinet that morning, Prof. MALLORY's radio interview was still ringing in his ears.
Prof. MALLORY, who died in Montreal on June 24, said in the interview that if the Liberals continued to govern it would result in a constitutional crisis. He believed it was the responsibility of John DIEFENBAKER and the Conservatives to form a government. The cabinet papers clearly reflect Prof. MALLORY's influence over the Prime Minister that morning. Mr. SSAINTURENT demanded a copy of the MALLORY interview and after carefully studying the radio transcripts, he handed the rule of government over to the Tories.
Highly regarded as the foremost expert in Canadian legal and federal structures, Prof. MALLORY was often called on to advise governments about constitutional procedures. McGill professor Charles TAILOR/TAYLOR said another good example occurred in 1979.
"Joe CLARK's Conservatives had just lost a parliamentary vote," Prof. TAILOR/TAYLOR recalled. "The governor-general, Ed SCHREYER, telephoned McGill's political science department, looking for Jim. It caused something of a stir when he couldn't be found immediately. SCHREYER was frantic for MALLORY's advice. The governor-general was unsure how to proceed.
"Jim was eventually found and consulted. His advice was that the Conservatives should call an election -- exactly what Joe CLARK did."
The son of a county sheriff, James Russell MALLORY was born on February 5, 1916. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New Brunswick in 1937 and later studied law at Edinburgh and Dalhousie universities.
He met his American-born wife, Frances KELLER, in Scotland, and the couple married in 1940. They had two sons: James and Charles. Prof. MALLORY joined the faculty of the University of Saskatchewan in 1941. Later, he taught at the University of Toronto and Brandon College before moving to McGill in 1946.
A respected scholar and lawyer, Prof. MALLORY was an "old-school" professor who taught at McGill for 45 years. His reputation as a constitutional expert was solidified in 1954 when he published Social Credit and the Federal Power in Canada. The quintessential text mapped out the constitutional parameters of federal/provincial relations.
"James MALLORY was a discreet and modest man," McGill professor Sam NOUMOFF recalled. "He had a profound understanding of morality and he was incapable of self-promotion. He worked on university committee after committee while holding many teaching responsibilities.
"Jim wasn't the sort of man who sought public approval, he just did things because they were the right thing to do."
His son James, who lives in Britain, summed up his father's idealism: "He had a bloody-minded stubbornness. It would manifest sometimes in allowing discussions to go on and on. Then he would do exactly what he intended to do in the first place. Somehow it never impaired his reputation as a genuine democrat."
Prof. MALLORY was the founder of both the Canadian Studies program at McGill and the Canadian Association of University Professors. After retiring in 1982 he was appointed professor emeritus and continued to teach for another 10 years. In 1964, he was elected to the Royal Society of Canada and was later awarded the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977.
In 1995, McGill founded the James R. Mallory lecture series, a one-day event that features a special guest who lectures about Canadian issues. Past guests have included Bob RAE, Peter WHITE/WHYTE and Phyllis LAMBERT. The organizers of the event say that this year's lecture will focus on Prof. MALLORY's legacy.
Prof. MALLORY died 11 weeks after the death of his wife on what would have been their 63rd anniversary.

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RAE o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-09-13 published
Singer was hit on Hit Parade
Canadian-born performer played violin with Jack Benny and posed as wife of Sid Caesar
By James McCREADY Special to The Globe and Mail Saturday, September 13, 2003 - Page F11
She was called "Canada's First Lady of Song." In the late 1940s, singer Gisele MacKENZIE was so popular on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio that she was known just by her first name.
When she was 23, she headed off to Hollywood, where she became one of the main singers on Your Hit Parade, a popular American network television show in the 1950s. By the time television started in Canada in 1952, she was already a star in the United States, appearing on programs with Jack Benny and later with Sid Caesar, the hottest comedian of his day.
Gisele MacKENZIE, who has died at the age of 76, was not always known by that name. On the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, she was known simply as Gisele, though a 1950 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation press release did call her by her proper name -- Gisele LAFLECHE. As soon as she moved to CBS in 1951, she adopted the stage name Gisele MacKENZIE. The reason, she told a New York reporter in 1955, was that the name Gisele LAFLECHE "sounded too much like a striptease artist's." The real explanation was an American audience would have trouble with so French a name. It was the television network that ordered the name change.
Marie Marguerite Louise Gisele LAFLECHE was born on January 10, 1927, in Winnipeg. The name MacKENZIE was from her paternal grandmother. Her father, Georges, was a doctor, who played the violin, and her mother, Marietta MANSEAU, was a concert pianist and singer as a young woman. Ms. MacKENZIE started playing the violin seriously when she was 7. She made her first public performance at the Royal Alexandra Hotel in Winnipeg at the age of 12.
When she was 14, her family sent her to the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. She studied the violin and the piano, and planned on being a concert violinist. Later in life, a story circulated that she never took voice lessons, but Jim GUTHRO, who was at the conservatory at the same time, remembered a voice teacher who took an interest in her. He also remembered that she attended at the same time as Robert GOULET and they would sing together.
When she first came to Toronto, she stayed at Rosary Hall, a residence for Catholic girls on Bloor Street at the top of Jarvis Street. Tess MALLOY, who was there at the same time, remembered her. "She lived right across the hall from me. She and her girlfriend used to drive us nuts practising the violin."
Ms. MALLOY didn't remember her singing at the residence, but somewhere along the way someone discovered Ms. MacKENZIE could sing. It was close to the end of the war and she started to perform for groups of servicemen. It was then that she was discovered by musician Bob SHUTTLEWORTH, a lieutenant who led a band for the Royal Canadian Navy.
Right after the war, she started singing with Mr. SHUTTLEWORTH's band at the Glenmount Hotel on the Lake of Bays, north of Toronto. Mr. SHUTTLEWORTH, who later became her manager and her husband, took her to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which then broadcast live popular music over the radio.
"Bob SHUTTLEWORTH called me at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and said, 'Get a studio, a piano and a vocal mike. I have someone I want you to hear,' recalled Jackie RAE, then a music producer at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, later leader of his own band (and, incidentally, the uncle of former Ontario premier Bob RAE.) "I remember her wonderful voice and how fresh she was. We hired her straight away to do three programs a week."
The program was Meet Gisele, and it ran for 15 minutes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The program started on October 8, 1946, and lasted for four years. She was so popular the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation used her in other programs with names such as The Girl Next Door or The Song Pluggers.
In 1951, Ms. MacKENZIE was spotted by Bing CROSBY's son, and went to work in the United States for Bob CROSBY's Club 15, bumping the Andrews Sisters from their regular slot. The pay was $20,000 (U.S.) a year, worth $150,000 in today's money. She was 23.
The money was something Canada could never match. Mr. GUTHRO, later head of Variety at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, guesses she was making $200 a week for her radio programs.
"Gisele Leaves for Hollywood. Canada's Loss," read a headline in one Toronto paper. The article guessed at the pay package, and it was right.
Ms. MacKENZIE was about to have her best decade ever in show business. After a short stint on Club 15, she worked on the Mario Lanza Show, before landing her full-time job at Your Hit Parade. The idea behind the NBC program was to take the top seven songs on the hit parade that week and have them done by the regular singers in the Your Hit Parade troupe. The half-hour program was a huge success in the United States and in late 1953 the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation picked it up for a while.
Ms. MacKENZIE was the only regular singer on the program to have her own hit record, Hard to Get, in 1955.
Though none of her family shared her success, all were musical. There were her parents, both of whom were serious amateur musicians two of her sisters sang and played, and a brother played the cello. Along with Gisele, two of them had what is called perfect pitch.
"It's rare and she had it," Mr. RAE said. "You would play four notes on the piano and she could match them. Perfect pitch isn't always a great thing, but in her case it was."
Ms. MacKENZIE's training as a classical violinist came in handy on the Jack Benny program, on which she first appeared in 1955. The droll comedian always made a thing of how he couldn't play the violin. One vaudeville-type act they would do on his show involved her patiently showing him what to do with a violin after he made some awful screeching noise with his bow.
She was Jack Benny's protégé, and he helped land her own television program in 1958. Called the Gisele MacKENZIE Show, it lasted only six months.
But she remained famous. At one stage, she was the subject of This is Your Life, which involved linking up with old Friends and relatives. She was a regular on game shows that featured minor celebrities, such as Hollywood Squares.
In 1963, she was cast as Sid Caesar's television wife and made regular trips to New York City, where the program was done. Like other television programs of that era, it was live, since videotape was only just being introduced.
Ms. MacKENZIE also acted and sang in live musicals in the United States, things such as Annie Get Your Gun and South Pacific. Over the years, she also worked in Las Vegas, performing in night clubs there. She returned to Canada for the occasional concert and television special, including one on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in late 1960. It was about "her story book career" and included the yarn, always told by her publicists, of how she decided to take up singing after she lost her $3,000 violin.
By the end of the 1960s, the big work started to dry up and Canadian newspapers were running the occasional "Where Are They Now" articles. She was in a sprawling ranch house in suburban Encino, Calif. She also owned property in Palmdale and Marin County, Calif., as well as a house on Lake Manitoba back home.
All that detail came up in a nasty divorce from Mr. SHUTTLEWORTH in 1968. Because he was also her manager, he kept 10 per cent of her gross income for the next three years. She later married a banker, Robert KLEIN, but that also ended in divorce.
During the rest of her career, Ms. MacKENZIE kept working in regional theatre and made guest appearances on television series, including MacGyver and Murder, She Wrote, as well as singing stints on programs such as the Dean Martin Show. She also did television commercials in the United States and Canada.
Ms. MacKENZIE had some odd hobbies. She collected and mixed exotic perfumes and in the 1950s she took up target shooting, becoming an expert shot. She and her first husband had a large collection of pistols, rifles and shotguns. In her later years, like many Hollywood stars, she was involved with Scientology.
Ms. MacKENZIE, who died in Burbank, Calif., on September 5, had two children with Mr. SHUTTLEWORTH, a son Mac and a daughter Gigi (short for Gisele) DOWNS.

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